Margaret Isabel Bryan was born 1874 in Petropolis, Brazil, the 5th of 9 known surviving children (4 boys/5 girls) born to John Heritage Bryan Jr. and his wife, Margaret Eliza Henderson Outlaw.
She was the paternal grandchild of the Hon. John Heritage Bryan Sr. & Mary Williams Shepherd of New Bern & Raleigh; and gr-grandchild of James D. Bryan & Rachel Heritage of New Bern, Craven Co, NC. She is a direct descendant of this family's patriarch William Bryan, the Englishman who immigrated to the Virginia Colonies ca. 1690. On her mother's side, she was the maternal grandchild of Dr. William Thomas MacKay Outlaw & Margaret Eliza Henderson of Bertie & Wake Counties, NC.
Margaret's parents immigrated to Brazil in about 1866-67, part of a large exodus of Southern Confederates who relocated to Brazil after the Civil War at the invitation of Emperor Dom Pedro II. Margaret, and 5 other siblings were born in Brazil. After almost 20 years as ex-patriots, the Bryan family returned to the United States in about 1884 and settled once again in Raleigh. Margaret, who was only about 10 years old when the family returned, spoke Portugese and was a Brazilian citizen. She did, however, became a naturalized citizen in 1892.
After the Bryan family returned to the United States, and the next 12 years would not be easy on the family as she lost her father and all four of her brothers to early deaths. Margaret continued to lived with her widowed mother and two unmarried sisters (Mary and Minnie) in Raleigh.
On August 17, 1898, the 24-year old married 25-year old architect and engineer, Charles A. Pearson, originally from Asheville, Buncombe Co, NC. Her husband was the son of CSA Capt. Charles William Pearson & Susan Bruce Shepard, who later gained fame as the man who engineered the famous Saluda Mountain railroad track -- a 13 mile run of tracks that was, and still is, the steepest mainline standard gauge grade in the country. He was also was a nephew of Richmond Mumford Pearson, who was chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1859 to 1878.
Margaret & Charles would become parents to 3 known children born in Raleigh: Alden Bryan (1899), Charles Jr. (1901) and Lillian (c. 1909).
Her husband's work as a civil engineer was extensive including many projects in North Carolina, George, Alabama, and Florida, where the family resided in 1920. From 1895 to 1901, Charles was a partner in the architectural firm of Pearson & Ashe in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pearson then worked for various engineering firms, contractors, and railroad companies in North Carolina and throughout the South until 1934. During those years, he supervised the construction of many highway and railroad bridges, and other civil engineering projects. From 1934 to 1948, Pearson worked for the firm of William C. Olsen in Raleigh, supervising the building of water and sewage treatment projects in various towns in the state.
Margaret Bryan Pearson died April 30, 1939 at age 65. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery near several of her siblings and her maternal grandparents.
Her husband of 41 years continued working in Raleigh until 1948, then relocated to Charlotte, NC where he worked for J. N. Pease & Company from 1950 to 1956, when he retired at the age of 81. On June 30, 1950, the 75 year old widower married (2nd) to 54-year Freda Jane Hoffer from Indiana. The marriage lasted 16 years until Charles' death in 1966 at age 91. Both Charles and his 2nd wife Freda are buried at Friendship Baptist Church Cemtery in Saluda, Polk Co, NC.
It is not known what became of Margaret & Charles' three children.
1875–1966 (m. 1898)
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